We recently spent four nights in the beautiful city of Barcelona and got to experience a small sample of the Catalan way of life. It was our first trip to Spain and we weren’t disappointed by our first impressions of the country. Exploring Barcelona was on our “to-do” list for quite a while, so we made the most of our few days there.
Barcelona is one of those places that everyone knows someone who has been there, and it’s no surprise that this city is one of Europe’s top tourist destinations. Barcelona is a city that is steeped in History and it’s famous for its laid back lifestyle, its food, the beautiful beaches and its plethora of interesting sights and fun activities.
As tourists, we don’t get to spend a whole lifetime in any one place and so we have to make the most of the time that we do have. The following is some tips and advice to consider should you find yourself on a plane to Barcelona in the near future.
Explore the work of Antoni Gaudi
When one thinks of Barcelona, they think of Gaudi. Antoni Gaudi is Barcelona’s most well-known architect and he is considered to be the frontrunner of the Modernisme architecture movement.
Exploring and admiring the works of Gaudi is undoubtedly one of Barcelona’s most renowned tourist attractions, and evidence of his work can be seen throughout the entire city. Three out of four of his most famous sites are found in the Eixample area of the city, they are La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, Park Guell and Casa Milla.
We visited all four sites during our stay and were especially impressed by the amazingly beautiful La Sagrada Familia. There are so many other examples of Gaudi’s work that are not so well known and are less visited, the Bellesguard Tower is one of them.
We thoroughly enjoyed our tour of the Bellesguard Tower, it was interesting to see the symbolism that Gaudi used in its structure and design. Climb to the top of the tower and take in an amazing panoramic view of the city.
Choose an apartment over a hotel
When looking for accommodation in Barcelona we had always wanted to go for an apartment option rather than a regular hotel. The months leading up to our trip to Spain saw us stay in a different hotel or guesthouse every night so we just wanted to have our own bit of independence and be able to cook a meal if we wanted to.
During our four day trip, we stayed with OK Apartment, and we were absolutely amazed with the level of comfort that we had there. It was great to have our own space and be able to come and go as we pleased. We also had a fully equipped kitchen which we took full advantage of and cooked up our first home cooked meal in six months! The apartment was centrally located and it made the perfect base for our four night stay.
Visit Placa Reial
Conveniently located off Las Ramblas, Placa Reial is a beautiful square that is an absolute must see for those who are looking for traditional Spanish and Catalan restaurants in Barcelona. We spent two of our evenings in Placa Rieal having dinner and strolling around soaking up the atmosphere. It’s a great way to spend an evening out, especially when the sun is shining.
Do the Barcelona City Bus Tour
Our trip to Barcelona saw us take our very first city bus tour as we always avoided them as they never really interested us. We thought it was a good idea to do a bus tour as our time was limited and we wanted to take in as many of the sights and attractions as we possibly could. The hop on-hop off open top double-decker bus took us all around the city and gave us an informative audio tour too. A city bus tour is a great idea if you’re pushed for time but they’re otherwise best avoided as I think exploring any city is a lot more fun and enjoyable.
Barcelona has become internationally famous for its delicious food and big culture of eating. Catalan cuisine consists of mouth-watering meats, seafood and chesses too. Due to Barcelona’s location on the Mediterranean coast, seafood dishes are extraordinary and vegetables such as red peppers, mushrooms, aubergines and tomatoes are plentiful. Dishes like Pan amb Tomaquet and Crema Catalana are definitely worth sampling.
We thoroughly enjoyed our few days in Barcelona and we plan to return some day in the near future. As we only had four days, we feel like we didn’t get to really experience all that this amazing city has to offer.